3,000 sailors participate in Pacific Vanguard

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jasen Moreno-Garcia)

Around 3,000 sailors from the maritime forces of Australia, Japan, Republic of Korea and the United States arrived in Guam on May 22, to conduct joint naval training exercises under Pacific Vanguard or PACVAN.

As part of PACVAN, the combined forces conduct a range of maritime training, from maneuvers, live fire exercises, defensive counter-air operations, to anti-submarine warfare.

The exercises are taking place on Guam and around the Marianas Island Range Complex.

Vice Admiral Phil Sawyer, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet said that PACVAN joins forces from four, like-minded maritime nations that provide security throughout the Indo-Pacific based on shared values and common interests.

He said, “This exercise advances the integration of our forces, and enables an effective collaborative response to a range of events that might occur in the region.”

According to a release, the 7th Fleet is the  U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed fleet. It operates roughly 50-70 ships and submarines and 140 aircraft with approximately 20,000 sailors.

According to Rear Adm. Jonathan Mead, the Royal Australian Navy’s Fleet Commander, Australia is committed to the security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific and is proud to be part of the initiative with its regional partners.

“By working together as a multilateral task group, we deepen interoperability and enable success when our navies cooperate in future exercises and operations,” Mead said.

Vice Admiral Hiroyuki Kasui, commander-in-chief, Self Defense Fleet said, “It is a very valuable opportunity for the four countries to conduct a high-end exercise in the Western Pacific region and I have high expectations of this very first Pacific Vanguard.”

Vice Admiral Park Ki-kyung, commander, Republic of Korea Fleet said, “I believe that this exercise is a golden opportunity to enhance the interoperability among the four nations and take our operational and tactical capabilities to the next level.”